PeaceJoyAustin

Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

Seattle

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  • Progressive, nature-loving city
  • Rainy and cloudy climate much of the year
  • Skyline is distinguished by the unique Space Needle

Metro Population: 3.7 million (#15 in the U.S.)

When To Visit: March-October

Climate: Warm and sunny in summer. Cool with lots of rain in winter, milder weather with periodic rain in spring and fall.

This beautiful city is the largest in the Pacific Northwest and is situated next to the huge Puget Sound waterway surrounded by evergreen forests. It is a hub for the tech industry and hosts many unique landmarks, including the iconic Space Needle.

Photo: Kerry Park

Where To Go in Seattle

Downtown:

  • West Seattle Ferry: Itching to get out on the Puget Sound? Head to Pier 50 to catch this 10-minute ferry with some of the best views of the Downtown skyline. $10 round trip. 801 Alaskan Way.
  • Pike Place Market: A can’t miss destination, this huge farmer’s market has hundreds of vendors, excellent views of the waterfront, and tons of free samples! Free. 85 Pike Street.
  • Gum Wall: Just around the corner from Pike Place Market is this local treasure – a wall filled with hundreds upon thousands of gum wads. Free. 1428 Post Alley.
  • Waterfall Garden Park: This small park boasts a man-made but pretty 22-foot waterfall. Free. 219 2nd Avenue South. (206) 624-6096
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The Gum Wall

Belltown: This fast-growing neighborhood just north of downtown has some of the city’s most popular cafes and bars

  • Space Needle: Seattle’s iconic building was created for the 1964 World’s Fair. The 360° view from 520 feet above ground at the Observation Deck is incredible. $22 admission. 400 Broad Street. (206) 905-2100
  • Olympic Sculpture Park: This free outdoor sculpture garden has a variety of interesting art and great views of the Puget Sound and the Space Needle. Free. 2901 Western Avenue. (206) 654-3100
  • Gates Foundation Visitor Center: Influential philanthropists Melinda and Bill Gates are from Seattle – this free interactive museum helps connect you to many of the issues happening in the world today and the work they are doing to alleviate poverty. Free. 440 5th Avenue North. (206) 709-3100

Capitol Hill: The city’s gay epicenter, this colorful neighborhood is filled with fun bars, art, and music.

Queen Anne: This ritzy neighborhood north of downtown is filled with extravagant mansions and sits upon a hill overlooking the city.

  • Kerry Park: Perhaps the best view of the Seattle skyline is found at this small park atop Queen Anne hill. Free. 211 West Highland Drive
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Seattle skyline from Kerry Park

Madison Park: An upscale lakeside neighborhood with historic landmarks and a variety of cafes, bakeries, and dessert spots.

  • Washington Park Arboretum: Take a long walk through this 230 acre free park populated with hundreds of local plants and trees. Free. 2300 Arborteum Drive East. (206) 543-8800

 

Seattle Cheap Eats

Seattle restaurants and fast casual eateries popular with locals where you can get a full meal for under $15. I always highlight some vegan or vegetarian options – cutting down on the amount of meat you eat is by far the #1 way you can reduce your environmental impact and contribute less to animal cruelty.

Wayward Vegan Cafe: This casual all-vegan restaurant has huge portions and serves primarily protein-heavy dishes made with tofu, tempeh, seitan, and more. 801 NE 65th Street, Roosevelt. (206) 524-0204

Biscuit Bitch: A wildly popular breakfast and lunch spot with creative spin-offs of a simple hearty biscuit. 1909 1st Avenue, Downtown. (206) 441-7999

Lost Lake Cafe and Lounge: This 24-hour diner with plenty of hearty options is a nod to the 90s cult classic show Twin Peaks which was set in Washington. 1505 10th Avenue, Capitol Hill. (206) 323-5678.

Araya’s Place: An 100% vegan cafe with excellent takes on Thai cuisine. Come for their lunch buffet! 5240 University Way, University District. (206) 524-4332

Seattle Nightlife

Bars, lounges, and clubs that are popular with locals and meet one or more of these criteria: A) Unique, unlike anyplace you’ll find in another city  B) Fun and lively, sure to be a good time  C) Beautiful decor or view

Unicorn: This colorful dive bar has a large food menu, arcade games, and a whimsical carnival theme. 1118 E. Pike Street, Capitol Hill. (206) 325-4692

Shorty’s: A bar littered with pinball machines, veggie and meat hot dogs, and vibrant, colorfully adorned drinks. 2222 2nd Avenue, Belltown. (206) 441-5449

Neighbours: A casual, disco-style gay club with three floors and lots of fabulousness. 1509 Broadway Court, Capitol Hill. (206) 324-5358

The Cozy Nut Tavern: A quirky nature-themed bar with fun decor and a wide selection of beer. Enjoy free corn nuts with your drink. 123 N. 85th Street, Greenwood. (206) 784-2240

Nearby Side Trips from Seattle

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Latourell Falls in the Columbia Gorge

Portland: This hipster city 3 hours to the south is perched on the junction of the mighty Columbia & Willamette Rivers with a panoramic view of Mt. Hood to the East. Stroll through one of its many famous gardens or venture out to see nearby forests & waterfalls. Read more.

Columbia Gorge: The stretch of the mighty Columbia River just east of Portland has a high concentration of waterfalls and some of the best hiking in Oregon. Read more.

Mt. Rainier National Park: A 2-hour drive takes you to this majestic mountain, the highest in the Pacific Northwest, and a multitude of outdoors opportunities.

Mt. St. Helens: A 1980 explosion of this volcano 3 hours south of the city transformed the surrounding landscape and covered Portland and Seattle in ash.

Olympic National Park: This beautiful coastal park 2 hours to the west features beautiful green rainforests and mountain peaks.

North Cascades National Park: A stunning alpine park 2 hours north of the city with epic hikes, glaciers, and wildlife.

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